Billy Collins Joseph Perez block 6

Getting to Know Billy Collins

Billy Collins was born in New York City on March 22, 1941. He had a fairly happy child according to his own words but some believe that he could have just as easily repressed what he said. He was an only child his parents had him at the age of 39 which is later in their life than normal to have a baby. He felt like he was the center of the universe in his own mind and he says that poets and children are alike like that in the same way because both think they are the center of the universe. He also went through a lot of catholic schooling when he was young. Then he graduate school from the University of California. Billy Collins said what inspired him to write his first poem was an early memory of a face looking at him from over his crib. Other poets that influenced him were Wallace Stevens and Hart Crane and many more. Now getting to the kind of poet that BIlly Collins is. Billy Collins is famous for conversational poems, also for poems that are very welcoming to the readers by using humor but often behind the humor there is something deeper. In his poems there is love and meaning that is meant to be heard by the soul. While you are laughing you are also comprehending the meaning of the phrase of which he just said. Some people would say that his poetry is skillful and smooth style and inventive. John Taylor said “that rarely has anyone written poems that appear so transparent on the surface yet become so ambiguous, thought provoking, or simply wise once the reader has peered into the depths.” Billy collins was also poet laureate from 2001 to 2003. An interesting fact about him is that in 2002 when he was poet laureate he was asked to write a poem that would come to be read in front of congress


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